Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an interesting post about children and a restaurant's bottom line. Honestly, I don't like using the words "bottom line" and children in the same sentence. The comments are the most eye-opening as "breeders" and "singles" seem to duke it out. Personally, we only take Kai to restaurants that are rated as kid-friendly according to Yelp. When we are uncertain, we always give a call.
It's not a black or white issue. I think most parents are pretty good about picking which restaurants to visit. If a restaurant is known as a first date place, mainly candlelit,arranges tables very close together, and serves duck confit, we generally shy away unless we make a 5pm reservation. At the end of the day, I want an enjoyable experience for the family when we dine out. I save those upscale restaurants for our date nights. There's plenty of places in the Bay Area that welcome children. With that said, we always tip extra and pick up all the bread crumbs and rice grains that fall to the floor.
It goes both ways. For breeders, make sure your kid is well behaved and if not, take them on a walk. For singles, don't let a crying toddler ruin your dinner, just let it go.
Oakland Kid-Friendly Spots
Foodie Tour in SF with kids